April 16, 2024

Teen entrepreneurs from across the U.S. competed for $18,000 in prizes at the 17th annual National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Global nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) celebrated 18-year-old Josh Kreuger of Missouri as the winner of the 17th annual National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, presented by the Citi Foundation and Ernst & Young LLP (EY US), with additional support from American Student Assistance. Forty regional champions traveled to New York to compete in a pitching competition on October 13. Elimination rounds culminated in three national finalists taking the stage at 787 Seventh Avenue. In front of an audience, they pitched their businesses to a panel of VIP judges.
Kreuger, a student at South Technical High School in St. Louis, took first place with his business MODRN Media, a digital marketing agency that trains and employs content creators while offering budget-friendly video production and social media management services to small businesses in the same community. He was awarded $10,000 plus a 45-minute mentorship session with Daymond John, The People’s Shark and the founder, CEO and president of FUBU, a $6 billion hip-hop apparel company.
Kreuger said, “I’ve considered investing the money, but if I spend it, it’s going to be on equipment and a space I can use to train content creators and inspire people who are where I was five years ago.”
Two runners-up were each awarded $2,500. Thomas Vo, 17, of Irving, Texas, presented his business Reheats, which makes electric heated gloves for construction workers and others working in the cold. Abhinav Gorrepati, 14, of San Jose, California, presented CredX, an online educational platform that encourages financial literacy in teens through engaging lessons. Another $3,000 in prize money was distributed during the semifinals. Students may use the awards for business growth or to further their educational goals.
“In a time when innovative thinking is the new economic currency, the entrepreneurial mindset of our young competitors shines bright,” said NFTE CEO Dr. J.D. LaRock. “From biodegradable drug-detecting napkins to 3D-printed eyeglasses, this year’s business ideas stand as examples of how our students engage in new technologies, environmentally sustainable solutions, and social entrepreneurship.”
Final round competition was judged by Citigroup’s Vladimir F. Galiothe, Managing Director of Equity Derivatives Trading; Alexis Jeffries, Glassdoor‘s Director, Head of Business Product Marketing; 2008 NFTE alumna Amanda F. LoyolaMcKinsey & Company‘s Engagement Manager; Dr. Lamell McMorris, Principal and Head of Policy, Regulatory and Government Relations at Edward Jones; and EY US‘s Alysia Steinmann, Metro New York Office Managing Partner.
Josiah Israel of Miami was honored with the Daniel Treanor Memorial Award, a $500 prize awarded to a NFTE student who has overcome a significant physical or health-related challenge.
About NFTE
A global nonprofit founded in 1987, NFTE provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle school, high school, and postsecondary students with a focus on under-resourced communities.
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